Editor, The News:
Re: Pitt projects face delays (The News, June 22).
The second paragraph of the report by Neil Corbett regarding the Onni development plans facing delays in a recent edition states that “public engagement is not an issue.”
I don’t know whether this is a simple error or he thinks it is not an issue, because I can assure you it certainly is.
Like everyone else, I have been remiss in assuming that the folks who make decisions on our behalf are on ‘our side.’
A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I found almost all the trees on the south side of the airport had been clear-cut.
An airport representative assured me it was necessary so that the control tower had line of sight with seaplane traffic on the river and watching for conflicting air traffic approaching from the south.
I thought normal flight rules would apply to air traffic approaching from the south to look out for other traffic. Were low-cost TV cameras not a viable alternative for river traffic? It seems to me three or four would have been more than enough, maybe even better in fog and far less expensive than whacking down all the trees and the future costs to keep them cut down.
I also asked why in the spring, when all the birds are nesting, and not in the winter? I was assured that an expert had checked and could only find one or two nesting sites. Really? In all those acres?
I know the ‘progressives’ will say, what’s a few birds? Well, real experts will tell you that birds are under threat and dying off at an alarming rate. Birds in the coal mine? If the trees really had to be cut down, why not do it in the winter? Strange.
The airport board has now resigned. Wonder why? I hope the new board makes what appears to be more reasonable decisions.
Then there is the Onni development near the airport. The mayor and some council members seem determined to push through major changes in the area with little regard for ending up with a livable area. It seems that tax base is a big motivator.
Maybe, rather than covering as large an area as possible with warehouses, a buffer zone of small businesses and services (also a tax base) with some green space between existing dwellings and the warehouses would be reasonable.
We have Coun. Janis Elkerton quoted in the paper, commenting on the reduction of 54 housing units as being a loss of $94,000 dollars in taxes. I thought that the taxes were to pay for services required. Less dwelling units means less services required, so why is it a loss?
Yes, we do need a tax base and employment opportunities, but we also have to end up with a livable area where people are healthy and productive.